Telugu Movie “Brindavanam” Featured in Phishing Attempt

Contributor: Avdhoot Patil

Phishers continue to target Indian movies with phishing scams. The phishing site featuring the movie “Bodyguard” is one example, and this month Symantec observed a phishing attack in which phishers used a song from the Telugu movie “Brindavanam” as bait.


The phishing site displayed a picture of a musical number from the movie “Brindavanam” starring Telugu actresses Samantha and Kajal Aggarwal in the left side of the phishing page. There is also a plot summary of the movie below the image. The phishing page then encouraged users to enter their login credentials stating that, after logging in, they could watch the video. The pictured musical number from the movie was taken from the legitimate movie website. After login credentials are entered, users are redirected to this legitimate movie website which features the same video. Due to the popularity of this musical number, and the star cast, phishers were probably hoping for a large audience, increasing the number of user credentials they could steal.

The phishers' redirection to a legitimate Web page is to create the illusion of a valid login for duped users. If users fell victim to the phishing site by entering their login credentials, phishers would have successfully stolen their information for identity theft purposes. The phishing site was hosted on server based in Montreal, Canada.

Users are advised to adhere to the following best practices to avoid phishing attacks:

  • Do not click on suspicious links in email messages
  • Do not provide any personal information when answering an email
  • Do not enter personal information in a pop-up page or screen
  • Ensure the website is encrypted with an SSL certificate by looking for the padlock, “https”, or the green address bar when entering personal or financial information
  • Update your security software frequently (such as Norton Internet Security which protects you from online phishing)

ACLU asks feds to probe wireless carriers over Android security updates

Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock

Civil liberties advocates have asked the US Federal Trade Commission to take action against the nation's four major wireless carriers for selling millions of Android smartphones that never, or only rarely, receive updates to patch dangerous security vulnerabilities.

The request for investigation and complaint for injunctive relief was filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union against AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile USA. The majority of phones that the carriers sell run Google's Android operating system and rarely receive software updates, the 16-page document stated. It went on to allege that the practice violates provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act barring deceptive and unfair business practices, since the carriers don't disclose that the failure to provide updates in a timely manner puts customers at greater risk of hacking attacks. Among other things, the filing seeks an order allowing customers to terminate contracts that cover a phone that's no longer eligible to receive updates.

"All four of the major wireless carriers consistently fail to provide consumers with available security updates to repair known security vulnerabilities in the software operating on mobile devices," Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist and senior policy analyst for the ACLU, wrote in the document. "The wireless carriers have failed to warn consumers that the smartphones sold to them are defective and that they are running vulnerable operating system and browser software. The delivery of software updates to consumers is not just an industry best practice, but is in fact a basic requirement for companies selling computing devices that they know will be used to store sensitive information, such as intimate photographs, e-mail, instant messages, and online banking credentials."

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ColdFusion hack used to steal hosting provider’s customer data

A vulnerability in the ColdFusion Web server platform, reported by Adobe less than a week ago, has apparently been in the wild for almost a month and has allowed the hacking of at least one company website, exposing customer data. Yesterday, it was revealed that the virtual server hosting company Linode had been the victim of a multi-day breach that allowed hackers to gain access to customer records.

The breach was made possible by a vulnerability in Adobe's ColdFusion server platform that could, according to Adobe, "be exploited to impersonate an authenticated user." A patch had been issued for the vulnerability on April 9 and was rated as priority "2" and "important." Those ratings placed it at a step down from the most critical, indicating that there were no known exploits at the time the patch was issued but that data was at risk. Adobe credited "an anonymous security researcher," with discovering the vulnerability.

But according to IRC conversation including one of the alleged hackers of the site, Linode's site had been compromised for weeks before its discovery. That revelation leaves open the possibility that other ColdFusion sites have been compromised as hackers sought out targets to use the exploit on.

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DHS Website Running Outdated and Insecure Version of Drupal

Ahead of a vote on the CISPA legislation the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be briefing members of the House of Representatives today on cybersecurity. Maybe the briefing should be on how not to do cybersecurity as the DHS is failing to take a basic security measure with their website. If you visit their website with our Drupal Version Check extension installed in your web browser (available for Chrome and Firefox) you will see that they are running an outdated version of Drupal:

Department of Homeland Security Website is Running Outdated Drupal Version

Keeping software up to date is one the basic steps and easier steps when it comes to cybersecurity and the DHS is failing at that. The larger question that this raises is what else they might be failing to do when it comes to cybersecurity, since they fail to do something so basic.

Further checking shows that the website is running Drupal 7.14, so the DHS has failed to update the software for over 8 months, the next version was released back in August of 2012, and they have missed the last 4 security updates.